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17 Pets You Can Legally Own That Look Like Dragons

Melissa cares for a variety of exotic animals and has completed a certificate in veterinary assisting and a bachelor's degree in biology.

Thanks to the exotic pet trade, there are many dragon lookalikes that can be kept as pets.

Thanks to the exotic pet trade, there are many dragon lookalikes that can be kept as pets.

Pets That Look Like Dragons

It's no longer a fantastical dream to buy your own pet dragon. Thanks to the exotic pet trade, there are many dragon lookalikes that can be kept as pets. Most existing 'dragons' in the pet trade are reptiles.

Mythical dragons differ from each other; some have wings, horns, spikes, or plated backs. Oriental dragons are more snake-bodied, with whiskers and mammal-like hair, while Western dragons are more reptilian or dinosaur-like. Other dragon designs are unique, like that of Toothless from the popular film How to Train Your Dragon. Below, you'll find a list of all the pets that fit any of these descriptions.

This adorable red-eyed crocodile skink could be yours!

This adorable red-eyed crocodile skink could be yours!

17 Pets That Look Like Dragons

Continue scrolling for more information about each of the exotic animals above.

Common NameScientific NameRequired Experience Level

1. Chinese Water Dragon

Physignathus cocincinus

Intermediate

2. Crested Gecko

Correlophus ciliatus

Beginner

3. Dragon Moray Eel

Enchelycore pardalis

Advanced

4. Draco Lizard

Draco volans

Advanced

5. Red-Eyed Crocodile Skink

Tribolonotus gracilis

Intermediate

6. Green Basilisk

Basiliscus plumifrons

Advanced

7. Mexican Alligator Lizard

Abronia graminea

Intermediate–Advanced

8. Jackson's Chameleon

Trioceros jacksonii

Advanced

9. Leopard Gecko

Eublepharis macularius

Beginner

10. Bearded Dragon

Pogona

Beginner

11. Axolotl

Ambystoma mexicanum

Beginner

12. Dragonface Pipefish

Corythoichthys haematopterus

Advanced

13. Green Iguana

Iguana iguana

Advanced

14. Armadillo Lizard

Ouroborus cataphractus

Beginner

15. Horned Lizard

Phrynosoma

Advanced

16. Sailfin Dragon

Hydrosaurus pustulatus

Advanced

17. Frilled Dragon

Chlamydosaurus kingii

Intermediate

Chinese Water Dragon

Chinese Water Dragon

1. Chinese Water Dragon (Physignathus cocincinus)

Size: 2–3 feet

Lifespan: up to 15 years

Diet: omnivore

Experience Level: intermediate

As the name implies, the Chinese water dragon bears a slight resemblance to the mythical creatures due to its pointed spikes. You can also guess from the name that these lizards like water, so they require a large enclosure that they can both climb and swim in.

A Special Note on Chinese Water Dragon Enclosures

You may have seen these lizards sold in chain pet stores like Petco, and they often have damage on their snout from constant rubbing (which can cause sores). This happens because they don't understand that they can't pass through glass. Larger environments for them can help. You may also find that lining the bottom section of their enclosure with an opaque material helps, as they are less likely to run into walls when they can see them.

In more serious cases, these lizards may run into the glass walls of their enclosures, causing potentially fatal damage to their brains.

For more detailed care info, check out this care sheet and set-up guide.

This cute little crested gecko can't stop smiling!

This cute little crested gecko can't stop smiling!

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2. Crested Gecko (Correlophus ciliatus)

Size: up to 10 inches

Lifespan: up to 15 years

Diet: omnivores (food should be dusted with a 50/50 mix of calcium and vitamins)

Experience Level: beginner

The neat thing about crested geckos—besides their stunning appearance and dragon-like crested head—is that they are one of the few pet lizard species that don't need to eat live insects. Instead, they can eat prepared powdered diets, with insects offered only if the owner prefers to provide supplementation.

Crested geckos are small lizards that can live in reasonably sized aquariums decorated with live plants. They thrive when the conditions in captivity suit their needs.

Check out this guide for more information about how to care for your crested gecko.

The fearsome dragon moray is not to be trifled with!

The fearsome dragon moray is not to be trifled with!

3. Dragon Moray Eel (Enchelycore pardalis)

Size: 2–3 feet

Lifespan: 10–15 years

Diet: carnivore (these eels only eat 2–3 times week, and all food must be live)

Experience Level: advanced

The Hawaiian dragon moray eel is an expensive fish typically priced around $1,000, but many hobbyists believe they are well worth the money. They have beautiful patterns and two 'horns' on their head. They tend to stick their head out of caves with their mouth hanging open, showing off their pointy dragon-life dentition. Though this open-mouthed stance is occasionally used to threaten predators, a somewhat open mouth is simply their resting position—these eels have bottom teeth so big they can't close their mouths.

Dragon morays, like most eels, are sizeable and require a somewhat large aquarium. They are also hard to feed in captivity, so they are not for beginners.

4. Draco Lizard (Draco volans)

Size: up to 8 inches

Lifespan: unknown

Diet: carnivore (these lizards normally prefer termites and ants, but they can be taught to eat crickets, mealworms, and flies)

Experience Level: advanced

A dragon with wings! Though the name would imply that these 'dragons' can fly, these small lizards are actually gliders akin to flying squirrels. In other words, they're not flyers, but they are extremely unique with their colorful 'wings'.

Unfortunately, they are not a pet for those who are new to keeping reptiles, because they are shy, require an arboreal enclosure, and might be difficult to feed. They are also not commonly available, so locating one can take some investigation.

Check out this guide if you want to learn more about how to care for a flying lizard.

Crocodile Skink

Crocodile Skink

5. Red-Eyed Crocodile Skink (Tribolonotus gracilis)

Size: up to 7 inches

Lifespan: at least 10 years (maximum unknown)

Diet: carnivore (you must supplement your skink's food with calcium at least every other feeding)

Experience Level: intermediate

These lizards might have 'crocodile' in their name, but they are far more dragon-like in appearance. They have vivid orange rings around their eyes, which gives them a very distinctive look. They are also relatively easy to keep, with a 20- to 25-gallon aquarium being an adequate size for a pair.

Be sure to check out this care guide if you're considering getting a red-eyed crocodile skink.

6. Green Basilisk (Basiliscus plumifrons)

Size: 2–2.5 feet

Lifespan: up to 10 years

Diet: insectivore (these reptiles require live food)

Experience Level: advanced

Also known as the plumed basilisk, this legendary reptile is said to be king of serpents and to possess the power to cause death with a single glance (don't worry—that's only true in Harry Potter!). With its stunning features, it's no wonder this creature is featured in so many myths. This reptile is also known as the 'Jesus lizard' for its ability to run on water.

Green basilisks are flighty animals that don't like to be handled much, and they are generally considered best for advanced reptile enthusiasts. In theory, they are still suitable pets for owners who can maintain their environment properly, but they generally are not recommended as beginner herps.

Since green basilisks can be tricky to care for, be sure to read this guide if you're considering one as a pet.

7. Mexican Alligator Lizard (Abronia graminea)

Size: up to 12 inches

Lifespan: 15–20 years (estimated)

Diet: insectivore (dust food with calcium every other feeding and with a vitamin supplement once a week)

Experience Level: intermediate–advanced

These plated lizards come in vibrant blue and green colors. In the wild, they inhabit cloud forests in Central and South America. These are arboreal lizards that are sensitive if their environmental elements aren't maintained perfectly, so they have an intermediate to advanced level of care difficulty.